Dana International, the only transgender artist ever to win Eurovision, is bidding to represent Israel again in 2011—and this time she’s fighting with a ding dong. Well, a song called “Ding Dong” anyway.
Israeli broadcaster IBA confirmed today that the “Diva” singer is among 10 finalists vying to fly the Israeli flag in Düsseldorf. As you may remember, Orthodox Jews were aghast when Dana (born Yaron Cohen) won the right to compete for Israel in 1998. Her single “Diva” conveyed the hope that the transgender community could find strength through struggle: “She is all you’ll ever dream to find/ On her stage she sings her story/ Pain and hurt will set her heart alight/ Like a queen in all her glory.” Europe was moved at the final and crowned her the winner. “My victory proves God is on my side,” she said afterward. “I want to send my critics a message of forgiveness … I am part of the Jewish nation.” “Diva” went on to sell more than 400,000 copies worldwide and made the Top 10 in five European countries.
At Eurovision, Dana courted controversy not for her gender reassignment, but for showing up to the awards presentation late during the live broadcast. She was delayed, she said, because she had to change into an elaborate costume—replete with neon orange wings—designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier.
The 2011 Israeli finalists have revealed the titles of their songs, but not the songs themselves. As such, Wiwi has dug up some videos of each contestant singing something else which you can watch below.
Knob – Ohev Et Ze
Dana International – Ding Dong
This video is of Dana at the Israeli national selection in 1995. She placed second singing “Layla Tov Europa” (Good evening Europe)
Hatikva 6 – Hakol Sababa
Here the group sings a reggae-inspired track called “Put Down the Guns”
Vladi Bleiberg – Lirkod
[Wiwi can’t find a video–help!]
Chen Aharoni – Or
Chen competed on season five of Israeli Idol. Here he sings “Shuvi el beiti” (Come back to my home)
Michael Greilsommer – Tu Du Du
A dread-locked white guy, Michael sings “Everytime”
Sivan Behnam – Kach Oti
Singing a duet with Subliminal in Hebrew (with English subtitles)
Adi Cohen – Al Ahava
Singing “Singing to the World” on the popular Israeli children’s show “Festigal 2005”
Niki Goldstein – Amri Itach
Idit Halevi – It’s My Time